"The Big Blues"/Albert King's First Album
"The Big Blues" was Albert King's first album. The album is a collection of singles recorded for the King label and the Bobbin Record label. The songs were recorded during in the 1950s during King's St Louis period. King eventually moved to Memphis and was signed to the Stax Record label.
The Big Blues
The Big Blues represents the early part of Albert King's recording career. The album was released in 1962 and it included the hit record, Don't Throw Your Love On Me So Strong, that peaked at #14 on the Billboard Charts in 1961. The album helped to place Albert in the pantheon of the three kings of the blues guitar, Albert, B. B. and Freddie. It is interesting that Albert, B.B and Freddie were not related even though B.B. and Albert both born and raised in Indianola, Mississippi. The Big Blues album also helped to catch the attention of a young Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton.
Big Blues features twelve songs most of which were written by King himself. One of the interesting things about the record is that you can hear Albert's guitar style evolving. The evolution is due in part to the fact that the songs were recorded over a period of a few years as single rather than as a album. A couple of the songs, I Walked All Night Long and What Can I Do To Change Your Mind, are heavily indebted to B.B. King's sound and style. The opening tune, Let's Have Natural Ball, evokes T Bone Walker. Each of the songs are arranged for horn much like T Bone and B.B.'s records. The majority of the album presents King as a strong and unique force in his own right. Albert's classic guitar sound and string bending technique is featured on tune such as I Get Evil, Had You Told It Like It Was, Don't Throw Your Love On Me So Strong, and several instrumentals.
Big Blues was released in 1962. Albert King's next release wasn't until 1967 when recorded Born Under A Bad Sign for Stax Records. At this point in his career King had relocated to Memphis, Tennessee, the home of Stax Records. Born Under A Bad Sign gained King a larger following and more commercial success. Anyone who is interested in Albert King should certainly get their hands on the Big Blues album. It is easy to find online at sites such as Amazon.